MyCiTi bus driver hailed a hero

From left, are Steve and Sharon Russak, Siphelo Maqubela and mayoral committee member for transport and urban development, Brett Herron at the hand- over of a certificate of gratitude to Sipelo Maqubela on Wednesday June 20.

MyCiTi bus driver Siphelo Maqubela is Sea Point resident Sharon Russak’s hero for finding and returning her purse which contained her jewellery, including her diamond wedding ring and earrings, as well as cash, credit cards, her driver’s licence and her identity document.

Ms Russak had accidentally dropped her purse when she got out of her car on Main Road, Sea Point around 5pm on Monday June 11. Mr Maqubela, who was on duty driving the 108 route from Hout Bay along Sea Point Main Road to the CBD, noticed the purse lying on the ground next to a parked car and decided to stop the bus and pick it up.

“I didn’t open the purse immediately, I continued with my route and when I eventually opened it and saw the jewellery, I actually became scared and knew I had to return it to the owner,” said Mr Maqubela.

Mr Maqubela said he does not have Facebook so he asked one of his passengers to try and find the owner on Facebook using her name from the ID.

The passenger then messaged her via Facebook to let her know that her purse had been found and she needed to contact Mr Maqubela.

Ms Russak at the time had not realised that her purse was gone. “After my appointment, I saw a Facebook message to please contact someone with regard to my purse. At first I thought maybe I was somehow pick-pocketed because how could a bus driver have my purse,” she said.

Ms Russak’s husband Steve then made contact with Mr Maqubela and they arranged to meet each other at the MyCiTi bus stop in Camps Bay, as Mr Maqubela was making his way back to Hout Bay.

“He returned the full contents of my purse but, most importantly my diamond wedding ring, another ring and valuable earrings, which are of sentimental value to me. Siphelo, thank you, thank you and bless you for your honesty,” said Ms Russak.

On Wednesday June 20, mayoral committee member for transport and urban development, Councillor Brett Herron, handed over a certificate of gratitude to Mr Maqubela at the Civic Centre MyCiTi station. At the handover, Ms Russak said her husband was initially upset when he heard that she had lost her purse because it contained her wedding ring.

The couple have been married for 23 years laughed when Mr Maqubela jokingly told them he saved their marriage. “I like to help people. I always ensure that I return people’s belongings to them. Our passengers need to… know they can trust us,” he said.